The big story for the end of 2014 is definitely the return of Garth with a new album and hopefully tour dates announced shortly for Aust fans to anticipate. Other fabulous releases abound with Melinda and Beccy teaming up to bring their tribute to legendary women of country, OShea’s exquisite new offering, and a whole bunch more from Golden Guitar Awards nominees – see our exclusive Tamworth section.

I possibly love words more than most people, (with or without music) and I was immensely moved by a chapter in The Silver Moon, Bryce Courtenay’s posthumous collection of lectures and notes on life, death and writing. It resonated and inspired me and I would like to share it, beginning with his lamenting that the digital revolution (email, texting, Twitter etc) has encouraged a vocabulary of words that are colourless and cut to verbal ribbons, conspiring to squeeze the life out of language…Truncating words into small, common, lifeless little objects and meaningless phrases, as if what we have to say and therefore ourselves are unimportant and worthless, seems to me to be a tragic transgression into nowhere.

He speaks on the ‘work’ of words – nothing echoes more loudly than a hollow word or lacks meaning like a lazy one, and concludes: Words are the most of what we have to solve just about everything. Social media is the most powerful medium for words ever invented. Your opinion coupled with countless others can stop wars and destroy tyrants…If we use them well and care how we put them together, we will do more than rescue language, we will begin to communicate as an unstoppable collective force, mostly for the common good. Your point of view is valid. Use it! Find the right words and change the world.

Best wishes from all the Country Update team for a joyful and safe festive season and holidays to you all and we look forward to catching up at one of the many festivals looming in the first few months of 2015 – in fact there is a major event every couple of weeks almost through to Winter!


Denise Torenbeek